PHOTO: Michael Peña as Cesar Chavez

8 Amazing Actor Transformations into Historical Figures

Emiliano Rocha Minter, Getty/Underwood Archives

We've always been fascinated by any actor's ability to take on an entirely different persona, a task that's all the more challenging when an actor has to portray a famous person right down to his or her quirks and mannerisms. We're particularly interested to see how End of Watch star Michael Peña's transforms into ionic labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. If early images are anything to go by, Peña has already done an impressive job of looking the part. Here are some other uncanny transformations by actors into famous figures in history.

Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln
The method actor not only took on Honest Abe's iconic beard-and-hat combo, he also remained in character while texting with his onscreen wife, Sally Field.
PHOTO: Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln
Benicio del Toro as Marxist Revolutionary Che Guevara
The two men already bore a striking physical resemblance, made complete when the Puerto Rican actor donned the Argentine's signature fatigues.
PHOTO: Benicio del Toro as Che Guevara
Salma Hayek as Artist Frida Kahlo
The Mexican actress took on the artist's iconic facial hair in her portrayal, which proved a departure from the many comedic or action roles she's played on the big screen.
PHOTO: Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo
Will Smith as Boxer Muhammad Ali
The usually-thin actor packed on muscle to portray the charismatic fighter in the film, Ali.
PHOTO: Will Smith as Muhammad Ali
Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi
Kingsley -- whose family has Indian roots -- offered a truly uncanny portrayal of one of India's most well-known figures.
PHOTO: Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi
Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth I
The Australian actress played the rather striking and controversy-courting queen in two films, Elizabeth and its sequel, Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
PHOTO: Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth I
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine
What? We can scarcely tell which is which.
PHOTO: Hugh Jackman as Wolverine
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